Monday, December 28, 2009

Where Has 2009 Gone

My goodness! It has been 6 months since my last post and I am trying to remember all the things that kept me so busy that I couldn't keep in touch.

We did take a vacation with the family to Las Vegas. And when we got home there was news that my father-in-law had been diagnosed with cancer and needed immediate surgery. My husband and I packed up the grandkids and headed off for Michigan to help DFIL. We left our adult kids home to fend for themselves. Gone two weeks.

I did manage to work on writing some lesson plans for the StitchMap Beginner's Hardanger Class while I sat around but computer time was limited to the library only because my in-laws are not a part of the computer age.

Everything went well and we returned home just in time for school to start. Grace began kindergarten, Axel the 3rd grade and Baby Belle is going twice a week to pre-school because she is a "Terrific Tot", LOL. I have to admit that they do keep me busy and on my toes! Here are their school photos.

My husband did have to return to Michigan for his father to have further surgery and to help him set up his house for his aftercare. DH was gone 6 weeks. I had all the chauffeuring duties that he would normally do to attend to in addition to my regular chores. I managed to come through in pretty good condition considering the hour I had to rise and shine each morning to get my son and daughter off to work and then the kids to school. I gained a new appreciation for my husband's contribution of providing our daily transportation.

I spent many happy hours working with my apprentices at StitchMap on CQ and Hardanger classes. I also presented a One Stitch Challenge to the members and we had fun with the painting of fabric and the embellishment of it using just one stitch which was kept secret until after the fabric painting had been done. One of the members of MAP has a family member who lost a precious Wedding Quilt Wallhanging in a house fire. I worked on a block for the Wedding Quilt Replacement that the ladies of MAP are contributing their efforts to. The blocks will be finished and sent to the family soon.

I began my duties as the Program Chairperson for the Pikes Peak Chapter of EGA in September. We had a successful fundraising auction in October despite the fact that we were inundated with snow and ice the night before. In November I helped teach a workshop in Aztec Stitch. We made bookmarks in bright colors using 18 ct. canvas and #8 perle cotton. Our December holiday meeting was a delight. Julie Sprinkle came and spoke to us about tatting. She brought a wedding dress that had tatted lace on it, many examples of her tatted jewelry and her shuttle collection. My friends Erica and Connie and I spent a day experimenting with Kool Aid dyeing and will use the resulting fabrics in an EGA workshop this coming spring. Can't wait to show you what we are making.......but I must! Check back in April, LOL.

Somewhere in there Grace lost her first tooth and when we first noticed how loose it was I began making her a tooth fairy pillow out of selvages that had been sent to me by friends from various on-line stitching groups I belong to. I took advantage of the sewing machine time to piece one for Belle to use down the road, too. I embellished the pillows with CQ seam treatments of the most simple type so that there were no beads to scratch the girls' faces or catch Grace's beautiful long hair as it lies under her pillow. I am happy to report I finished Grace's just 10 minutes before the tooth was pulled! It was used a second time just 2 days before Christmas.

I also went to Albuquerque, New Mexico one weekend this fall with my husband. While he attended a seminar for Flight Instructors I caught up on reading my new stitching books, watching a tatting DVD, and editing the next lesson of the StitchMap Basic CQ Course. Well, that was the first day. The next day I went shopping and checked out some local needlework shops, quilt shops and a bead shop. OOoops! That bead shop was the best experience of the weekend. I brought home 21# of beads that were all on sale at 40% or more off the regular price. Of course I had to share with DD Moon when I got home. I also saw some crafts in the store next door to the bead shop that gave me some ideas for future projects and at the needlework shop they had some really cool finishing techniques that they shared with me.

The week of Christmas the whole family came down with varying degrees of the flu bug. I think mine has taken on the disguise of a head cold and queasy stomach. The children were sick over Christmas and we just took it easy on Christmas Day. The kids opened their gifts, we had small meals and enjoyed each other's love and companionship. On the following Monday my oldest daughter came down from Denver and we brought my mother home from the nursing facility. We had their Christmas and our holiday meal.

I want to thank everyone who sent me such great gifties this year from their blog give-aways and PIFs. I did manage to pay forward my obligatory gifts this month. Great big warm hugs to all my friends who sent me the selvages to make the little tooth pillows and some gifts for my stitching buddies (can't say what 'cuz I am still working on those, lol). Thanks to all the ladies on the needlework groups I belong to for all the sharing they do and for the constant supply of eye candy they inspired me with and to everyone who reads this blog and bothers to comment. You all mean so much to me.

My last thank you is to the ladies of my Yahoo Group StitchMap. The road was bumpy at first but to those who stuck it are all like family to me. To those who have joined recently and are taking such an active part in the are the reason the group is growing and your eagerness to learn and share means the world to me. To each Moderator, Mentor, Stash Angel, and are the BEST! I couldn't have done it without your support. If it weren't for your patience and understanding I am sure we wouldn't have progressed as quickly as we have. I am honored to know each and every one of you, so proud to call you my friends and I am in awe of your talents! Thanks for being there, without you........well there just wouldn't be a MAP, would there?

I hope the New Year brings you unlimited stitching time, prosperity and happiness!